Monday, December 22, 2014

Domaine ARNOUX-LACHAUX -- 2013s from Cask

Domaine ARNOUX-LACHAUX (Vosne-Romanée)

2013s  from Cask

Charles Lachaux, who has taken charge of vinification from his father Pascal, said that harvesting began on October 5 and lasted five days. Harvest size was “almost normal.” He attributed this to the grass in the vineyards, which helped to prevent botrytis. Additionally, unripe grapes were removed in the vineyards wherever botrytis was starting in order to keep the botrytis under control.

Keeping with the changed policy on whole clusters that Charles introduced last year, at least 40% whole clusters were used in all the wines. The percentage depended on the quality of grapes; Charles said that he preferred to do it on clusters with shot grapes. He added that whole clusters soften the wines, but one has to be careful not to break the stems because that releases acidity.

New oak was at least 20%. This is one estate where there is some chaptalization each year in order to prolong alcoholic fermentation, and so there was some this year, of course. Malolactic fermentations were very long.

The results here are very successful across the board.

[The Bourgogne was not available to taste; my notes don’t say it, but if I recall correctly, the wine was in preparation for bottling.]

2013 Nuits-Saint-Georges
The nose here is spicy. The palate is smooth with purity and spiciness to the red currant fruit. The wine is lively and long. This is outstanding village Nuits. (89-92)

2013 Chambolle-Musigny
This wine is smooth, tender, pure and spicy with dark fruits. It is medium-weight but feels light on the palate with plenty of finesse. (88-91)

2013 Vosne-Romanée
The nose of the Vosne shows spicy red and dark fruit. The mouth features spicy dark fruit that is light, pure, and long and the tannins here are round. (88-92)

2013 Vosne-Romanée   Hautes-Maizières
The heavier soils are evident in this wine as it is denser with dark fruit and some whole-cluster spiciness. (88-92)

2013 Nuits-Caint-Georges  Les Poisets
This wine comes from only vines on sandy soils. New oak here is 30%. This wine is lighter and slightly harder, less sensual, and more linear than the regular Nuits. It features dark fruit and good length. (88-92)

2013 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru – Les Procès
The nose here is dusty. The mouth is rounder than that of the Poisets and there is dark berry fruit. The wine does not seem as long as the Poisets on this tasting. 30% new oak here. (88-92)

2013 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru – Aux Chaumes
The nose here is floral. The mouth is round with dark plum fruit, sensuality, and some tannins  are evident. This wine is 50% new oak and 50% whole clusters. (88-92)

2013 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru – Clos des Corvées Pagets
From the Prémeaux sector of Nuits, this wine is light but with some juiciness to its dark plum fruit, it shows good length and structure. Both whole clusters and new oak are 50% for this wine. (89-93)

2013 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru – Aux Reignots
Arnoux-Lachaux’s prime portion of Reignots is situated directly above La Romanée, with Petits Monts to the north, and at the northeastern corner, the vineyard touches Richebourg. It regularly gives magnificent wine. Here, the fruit is complex with red currants, raspberries, and some blackberries. The wine is very calm and light on the palate, even ethereal, and there is outstanding length here. 100% whole clusters here, 80% new oak. (93-96)

2013 Latricières-Chambertin
This wine shows dark fruit with the tension that characterizes top Latricières. It is an excellent example of Latricières that shows the terroir very well. 60% whole clusters, 80% new oak for this wine. (93-96)

2013 Echézeaux
The Echézeaux is spicy with dark plum fruit, excellent concentration, and round tannins. 70% whole clusters here, 80% new oak. (92-95)

[The Clos-Vougeot had just been sulfited, and so was unavailable for tasting.]

2013 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru – Les Suchots
The nose shows the earthy aromas typical of top Suchots. The mouth is smooth and round with red cherries and red currants, the body medium weight, and the length excellent. As always, this wine from its prime location in the Suchots vineyard, is a gem. 50% whole clusters here, 80% new oak. (92-95)

2013 Romanée-Saint-Vivant
The nose here is spicy. The mouth shows typical RSV sensuality to its dark – blueberry and blackberry – fruits, and it is round and long. It is outstanding Romanée-Saint-Vivant. 50% whole clusters, 80% new oak. (93-97)